The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies
Director: Vikki Janke
Deputy Director: Jonathan Kasstan
Founded in 2008, the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS) aims to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and teaching. Membership embraces not just the members of English Language & Linguistics but also other members from the School of European Culture and Languages with an interest in the study of language, as well as researchers in philosophy, computing, psychology and anthropology, reflecting the many and varied routes by which individuals come to a love of language and an interest in the various disciplines and sub-disciplines of linguistics. Contributions from researchers in all areas of linguistic enquiry are welcome.
Our 'Guest Lecture Series' runs throughout the academic year. For this series we invite researchers from across the UK and Europe. The lectures are open all members of the university as well as the general public.
Upcoming lecture: abstract and date
The Intersection of Syntax and Memory Mechanisms in Broca’s Area: Evidence from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Abstract: Broca’s area has had a long and dynamic history with language. We now know this region is anatomically and functionally heterogenous, implicated in functions outside the language domain, and theoretical positions vary in the functional role attributed to this region in language comprehension. I will discuss functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies with healthy individuals in addressing these theoretical positions. The main source of the data comes from syntactic dependencies (ie, A’ movement, binding, agreement). The results indicate that while linear distance is relevant (ie, implicating a memory mechanism), it is not sufficient. Data from reflexive binding and parasitic gap constructions indicate that not all “nonlocal” relations activate Broca’s area, but rather syntactically (not statistically) predictable ones are necessary. Moreover, functional dissociations that map onto the anatomical ones, within Broca’s area, seem to be dependent on the syntactic/semantic properties of the material intervening such dependencies. While the data are supportive of different aspects of current theories, they require some slight modifications and elaborations. The results are consistent with a memory mechanism that is syntactically sensitive across multiple dimensions. The syntactic dimensions potentially relevant to this memory system will be discussed. Likewise potentially problematic data for this account will be considered.
Programme for Spring Term 2014
|Date||Speaker (institution)||Title of the lecture|
|February 7th, 2014||Professor Ruth Page (University of Leicester)||'Shared' Stories and Social Media: The Facebook 'Death of Margaret Thatcher RIP Pages'|
|March 5th, 2014||Dr Andrea Santi (University College London)||The Intersection of Syntax and Memory Mechanisms in Broca’s Area: Evidence from functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging|
|April 2nd, 2014||Professor Siobhan Chapman (University of Liverpool)||TBA, Pragmatics|
Programme for Summer/Autumn Term 2013-2014
|Date||Speaker (institution)||Title of the lecture|
|July 24th, 2013||Dr Theresa Biberaurer (University of Cambridge)||Rethinking Comparative Syntax|
|August 1st, 2013||Dr Ioanna Sitaridou (University of Cambridge)||The emergence of the infinitive as a Negative Polarity Item in the history of Romeyka (Leverhulme Seminar)|
|November 13th, 2013||Dr Fred Cummins (University College Dublin)||From prayer to protest: the phenomenon of joint speech|
|December 11th, 2013||Dr Cecile De Cat (University of Leeds)||L1 effects in the very advanced L2 processing of noun-noun compounds|
Past events hosted by CLLS include:
- June 2013: KIASH Visiting Expert Jason Merchant (Chicago)
- Summer 2013: Leverhulme Visiting Professor Virginia Hill (New Brunswick), working on a project entitled ‘Focus on Negation and Negation with Focus: A Typology of Information Structure’
- 2011-2012: Leverhulme ECF Damien Hall, working with David Hornsby on a two-year project entitled ‘Towards a New Linguistic Atlas of France;’ Damien is now a staff member at the University of Newcastle
LingLunch research seminar series
The CLLS LingLunch seminar series provides a friendly forum for the dissemination of new and exciting research in all fields of Linguistics. This academic year CLLS is offering a schedule featuring both emergent and well-established academics, from a number of UK and EU institutions. All are welcome to attend. If you are interested in presenting your research to the series, please contact the research centre Director.
Upcoming talk: abstract and date
‘Language Development in Down syndrome: the pronoun question'
In the field of clinical linguistics, language in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) has been the topic of long-lasting debates. The debate concerns whether language development in DS follows the same path as language in typically developing (TD) children, just at a slower rate, or a different path altogether; recent research suggests that individuals with DS may experience disproportionate difficulties with some aspects of language, including the comprehension of reflexive pronouns. Moreover, there is disagreement as to whether improvement of language abilities continues after adolescence in this population. In this talk, I present data from an experimental study aiming to contribute to these debates, with particular focus on the comprehension of pronouns. Fourteen Greek-speaking individuals with DS were tested in comparison with a group of TD children as controls. Results reveal a different response pattern in DS compared to the TD group, indicating the presence of a selective language deficit in DS targeting reflexive pronouns. In addition, sub-group differences and correlations detected suggest that some of the structures may be easier for older participants in the target population. Overall, findings provide support to the deviant language development model in DS, while suggesting that comprehension abilities in this population can continue to improve post-adolescence.
Spring Term 2014
|January 29th, 2014||Mr. Duncan Robertson (University of Glasgow)||Accent and Implicit Cognition: Eyetracking in Glasgow|
|February 12th, 2014||Dr Alex Ho-Cheong Leung (University of Northumbia)||The robustness of phonological categories in child L2 acquisition: insights from a less-studied English variety|
|February 26th, 2014||Dr Eirini Sanoudaki (Bangor University)||Language Development in Down syndrome: the pronoun question|
|March 12th, 2014||Mrs. Heidi Colthup (University of Kent)||TBA|
Autumn Term 2013-2014
|Date||Speaker (institution)||Research specialisation|
|October 9th, 2013||Dr Tamara Rathcke (University of Kent)||Phonetics/Perception|
|October 23rd, 2013||Prof. Jane Stuart-Smith (University of Glasgow)||Sociophonetics|
|November 6th, 2013||Dr Mercedes Durham (Cardiff University)||Sociolinguistics|
|November 20th, 2013||Dr Petros Karatsareas (University of West of England)||Historical Linguistics|
|December 4th, 2013||Dr Evangelia Adamou (CNRS, Paris)||Information Structure|
|December 18th, 2013||Dr Christiana Gregoriou (University of Leeds)||Stylistics|